From 2007.igem.org

Company Name

AIDS Epidemics

AIDS (Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome) is one of the most striking problems of the modern world. It is a consequence of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection which attacks and damages the immune system. During the progression of the disease patients become more sensitive to different opportunistic infections which can be lethal. Since it was recognized in 1981, AIDS has killed more than 25 million people.

According to WHO (World Health Organization) AIDS claims around 3 million lives per year; more than 40 million are believed to be living with AIDS and even more are infected with HIV. The most critical is Sub-Saharan Africa where around 30 million people are believed to be infected with HIV which is more than 60% of all HIV infections. In countries with the highest AIDS prevalence life expectancy is 6,5 years less than it would be without the AIDS pandemic.

In the last few years great progress has been made in antiretroviral therapy, but a cure for AIDS is still a dream. HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) is efficient in easing the symptoms of AIDS and reducing death rate where this expensive therapy is available to AIDS patients. This means that the life expectancy has risen but the number of HIV infected individuals is increasing.

Antiretroviral therapy is not perfect; it cannot completely eliminate HIV from infected cells. Apart from that, it is sensitive to HIV mutations; since HIV mutates rapidly, a lot of therapeutic are useless on mutated HIV strains.

Adult HIV prevalence at the end of 2005. More than 60 % of infected individuals live in Sub-Saharan Africa. South and South-East Asia (especially India) have more than 15 % of the population infected with HIV. (www.wikipedia.org)